I really enjoyed this book. It's good historical fiction; its hero is an Irish monk who ends up a slave of the Vikings and then in the Holy Roman Emperor's court in Constantinople. There's enough action and misadventure and plot twists to keep the reader entertained, and it really reads quite quickly. I did wish that the book included an introduction to help put the story into historical context -- I had to do a little research to remind myself why Constantinople was the "new Rome" in pre-Crusades Middle Ages -- but that's why we have google, I guess.
I read the first two books of Lawhead's Celtic Crusade trilogy and was not overly impressed. The books were ok but not so good that I wanted to invest my time in the final book. I decided to read Byzantium and I am so glad I did. This stand alone historical novel is outstanding. I just didn't want it to end.
This book is an excellent read. It was surprisingly funnny at certain times and even had me in tears at other times. Stephen Lawhead is one of my favorite authors and I would recommend this book to anyone.